Celebrating the Semicolon in a Most Unlikely Location

Article in the New York Times:

It was nearly hidden on a New York City Transit public service placard exhorting subway riders not to leave their newspaper behind when they get off the train.

“Please put it in a trash can,” riders are reminded. After which Neil Neches, an erudite writer in the transit agency’s marketing and service information department, inserted a semicolon. The rest of the sentence reads, “that’s good news for everyone.”

Semicolon sightings in the city are unusual, period, much less in exhortations drafted by committees of civil servants. In literature and journalism, not to mention in advertising, the semicolon has been largely jettisoned as a pretentious anachronism.

Article continued here.

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.

BUUUUUUUUULLLLLLLLLLSHHHHHHHIIIIIIITTT!

And that's all I'm going to say about that asinine comment.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

Dude

Dude? What are you replying to? What asinine comment?

This asinine comment:

In literature and journalism, not to mention in advertising, the semicolon has been largely jettisoned as a pretentious anachronism.

It is an overstatement; if the semicolon is no longer used it is because too many so-called writers are too damned lazy to learn how to use it correctly. Those of us who are artisans understand that the semi-colon is a tool, and that you use the right tool for the right job.

There is nothing that cannot be found offensive by someone, somewhere.

I second the motion

That's absolutely true; the semi-colon is an invaluable tool when used correctly. It's just that too few people understand its correct usage, so increasingly we dumb down the language to suit them. Disappointing.

Syndicate content